Psalm for East Oakland

How long, O Lord? How long will you let the people suffer?

How long will children grow up with PTSD, watching neighbor fighting neighbor, with fists, knives, glass or guns?

How long will Fathers be locked up in prison far away from home while children raise themselves?

How long, O Lord? Do you hear the prayers?

Will the people and the police hate each other forever?

Do you hear the prayers of teenage Moms and the Grandmothers? Don’t you hear those Grandmas who pray with all their hearts and lungs every Sunday morning? They couldn’t be any louder or passionate in their pleas.

Do you hear the Mothers and Aunties who mourn the loss of another son shot on the corner?

The young woman tries to move forward, but her mentally ill, alcoholic mother pulls her back, over and over and over.

The little boy watches the man beat the woman until she bleeds, and he pleads for help, for safety.

How long will you hide your face from us, while so many others have far too much? How long will the pastors ride in the BMW’s while the little old ladies give the last of their savings?

How long, O Lord, how long? How long will it all go on?

Are you listening? Are you there? Are you here? Do you care?